"You were not created to be the same as men. Your natural attributes, affections, and personalities are entirely different from these of a man. They consist of faithfulness, benevolence, kindness, and charity. They also balance the more aggressive and competitive nature of man. The business world is competitive and sometimes ruthless. We do not doubt that women have both the brain power and the skills to compete with men. But by competing they must of necessity, become aggressive and competitive. Thus their godly attributes are diminished and they acquire a quality of sameness with man. The conventional wisdom of the day would have you be equal with men. We say, we would not have you descend to that level."
Can we have it all?
But, my dear granddaughters, you cannot do everything well at the same time. You cannot be a 100 percent wife, a 100 percent mother, a 100 percent church worker, a 100 percent career person, and a 100 percent public-service person at the same time. How can all of these roles be coordinated? Says Sarah Davidson: “The only answer I come up with is that you can have it sequentially. At one stage you may emphasize career, and at another marriage and nurturing young children, and at any point you will be aware of what is missing. If you are lucky, you will be able to fit everything in.” Doing things sequentially—filling roles one at a time at different times—is not always possible, as we know, but it gives a woman the opportunity to do each thing well in its time and to fill a variety of roles in her life. A woman does not necessarily have to track a career like a man does. She may fit more than one career into the various seasons of life. She need not try to sing all of the verses of her song at the same time.
Brethren, marry a woman who is your better in some respects; and, sisters, do likewise, so that your eternal partnership is one of compensating competencies. This is certainly the case in my own marriage, so far as certain attributes are concerned. I am gladdened--not threatened--by my wife's superior qualities. I am grateful for her traits and qualities that excel my own in some critical dimensions of our partnership.
To begin with, we can decide to plan for success, not for failure. Statistics are thrown at us every day to persuade us that a family composed of a loving father and mother with children loved, taught, and cared for in the way the proclamation enjoins is going the way of the dinosaurs, toward extinction. You have enough evidence in your own families that righteous people sometimes have their families ripped apart by circumstances beyond their control. It takes courage and faith to plan for what God holds before you as the ideal rather than what might be forced upon you by circumstances.
There are important ways in which planning for failure can make failure more likely and the ideal less so. Consider these twin commandments as an example: "Fathers are to . . . provide the necessities of life . . . for their families" and "mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children." Knowing how hard that might be, a young man might choose a career on the basis of how much money he could make, even if it meant he couldn't be home enough to be an equal partner. By doing that, he has already decided he cannot hope to do what would be best. A young woman might prepare for a career incompatible with being primarily responsible for the nurture of her children because of the possibilities of not marrying, of not having children, or of being left alone to provide for them herself. Or she might fail to focus her education on the gospel and knowledge of the world that nurturing a family would require, not realizing that the highest and best use she could make of her talents and her education would be in her home. Because a young man and woman had planned to take care of the worst, they might make the best less likely.
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